2017-07-01

Objectification in YA #RebelliousWriting

       Hello, all! I had originally planned to do this post about not objectifying women, but after accidentally reading a few trashy YA books, God has put a different type of a no objectification post on my heart… today I am going to be talking about objectifying men in YA, or rather why we should stop objectifying men. So yes, this post is more directed to our lady authors and readers, but you guys can read too if y'all want.



         Do you know what one of the most annoying things in YA is?

       It's when for some reason the main guy character can't seem to ever find his shirt. Now, this use to annoy me more than it does now, because now I go to a church with only teenage guys and I'm pretty much by myself. And the guys I know have a habit of taking off their shirts every chance they get, I don't know why… but it is summer in Texas, so the less clothes the better. If I was a guy I probably would take off my shirt too. So it doesn't annoy me that much, because guys do go shirtless a lot.
       But sometimes I'll be reading a book and in one paragraph the guy is wearing a shirt, and then in the next it's just gone… no explanation, nothing. And then the girl character is just drooling over the male character's six pack.
      That's just annoying. Stop it.

     And then every time the main guy character has his shirt off, the girl is just oogling him. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
      
      I don't think that's really realistic. But I most likely wouldn't know, because I'm not boy crazy, I’ve only had two crushes and I don't really notice most guys past friendship…

      But since guys have taken off their shirts in front of me before I can admit that I do notice if they're muscular or not muscular, flabby or not flabby, etc. Because I'm a writer and an artist and I just naturally observe most things. And usually I just think something along the lines of, Oh, he has a four pack, cool. And move on, because I personally don't care. But having guy friends, I don't even notice if they're shirtless anymore because it's the norm. Seriously, one time I was playing a game at my youth group and I ran into one of my guy friends, and I grabbed his shoulder to stable myself and that's when I noticed that he was shirtless because I was wondering why I was touching skin… apparently he had been shirtless all night. And I didn't even notice, because he's always shirtless so I don't care anymore.

       But in books the girl is always, always surprised at how muscular the fellow is. And I don't know… as I said before, I'm not boy crazy, maybe these girls are...but it just seems like they would get use to it and shrug it off as a normal thing. Idk. Maybe not…

      BUT STILL. It's objectifying. Men are not meat, women are not cake, can we stop acting this way? And writing this way?

      I read YA books and the only thing that the girl protagonist ever really notices about the boy protagonist is abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, hair, eyes, height, lips, etc. BUT IT'S ALL ONLY SUPERFICIAL THINGS. And stuff like this is super normal to read in YA, but just imagine how everyone would react if there was a popular book series where the guy protagonist is always objectifying the girl protagonist. And the girl is always in a bikini. And the only thing the guy ever cares to notice about her is boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, butt, legs, eyes, lips, etc.

      There would be riots. Feminists would be burning said book in the streets. Christians and Catholics would boycott it and speak up against it like it was Fifty Shades of Grey.

      So why is it okay to do the same exact thing to a guy?

Is it because we think they're lesser?
That they're easier to objectify?
That they don't have feelings too?

      Whatever the reason, it irritates me. Men are human too. They deserve to be treated with respect in books, movies, music, etc. Just like women do.
       But so often they're not. And no one ever stands up for them. You see plenty of feminists fighting against slut shaming, but do you ever see feminists fighting against calling guys names like that for guys? No. Not really.
      Do you see Christians, Catholics, and everyone else who loves the Lord boycotting a book because a guy is only valued by his six pack? No. Not really.

       I think that so many times we think that it's somehow okay to objectify men. And that's wrong. It's so, so wrong. And sad.

     I hate how guys are so often misrepresented in YA. So often I read books that show them to be sex-crazed maniacs and jerks. And although I have met some guys like that, I have also met some girls who are just as bad.

     Guys are more than meat.
     They are more than jerks who only want sex.

     And people who think that clearly don't bother to get to know any males.

     They have hopes, dreams, goals, ambitions. They are so much more than just a body.

      Girls, we don't want to be objectified. So why do we seem to always do this to guys?
     Together we can stop this. Together we can make a difference. Stop objectifying. #RebelliousWriting 

54 comments:

  1. Gray, you took the words right out me. I'm so sick of men being objectified because it seems to be happening more to them than it is to women. Like, what's with all these married women ogling over famous men? There's is so much that's so wrong with women. Feminists don't want to be objectified, yet they look at men like meat. (If they like men, that is. Terrible joke. I'm sorry.) By that awful joke, I meant feminists are man haters who seem to think men are more successful. That's just not true.

    You are so right. This was something that needed to be said. You've inspired me. Great job, Gray. I hope more women writers and readers see this. We can change society.

    God bless you! <3

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    1. Thank you. It sickens me to see how society views men now.

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    2. It sickens me, too. We want real men, not the ones feminists are trying to produce. We're equal and we have equal opportunities. Feminists need to give it up.

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    3. Yes, feminism was a good thing when women actually didn't have all the rights that men had, like getting jobs and voting, but now we do.

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    4. Exactly. We have all the same rights. Feminism isn't needed here. It's needed in the countries where women are treated lower than dirt. Instead we got the women here becoming less like women and more butch-y and their behavior is so inappropriate. People need more Jesus.

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    5. I forgot to add that I don't usually like it when a guy has his shirt off. I'm just like, "Why are you doing that?"

      But its what they do. I don't think we should necessarily stop them, but I don't tend to give them a second look.

      I saw a k-mart commercial where two women were objectifying a pool boy. You should look it up. It's disgusting. Every moment the camera goes back to him, his swimsuit is smaller. It's disgusting.

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    6. I swim a lot, so I see a ton of guys in speedos, so I've learned to just not notice and focus on guys' faces.

      Ugh. I've seen lots of commercials like that. They usually play "it's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes," in the background, it's horrible.

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    7. Yes, its all terrible. I just wish people would be decent people. Is that so hard to ask for? All I can say is thank you for saying something that we all need to hear. Women, in particular need to hear this because I think there might be more men objectification nowadays.

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    8. Yes, men are objectified way more than women and that is because women refuse to open their eyes to that fact.

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    9. I honestly don't read much YA current time overall. Most of my books shave like a historical setting. Like the series I'm working my way through now, The Raven King series by Stephen Lawhead. BUT guys in reality they are more than just human bodies ( since I'm a guy, I know what being a guy is and what it means.) Some cases such as mine in ways comke in handy, cause I have mental illness that ruins any chance of a good relationship with anyone who does not want to deal with the challenges that she would have to deal with

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    10. And for why guys go shirtless? Well, I do it every now and then when I work hard outside OR occasionally when I go running.... I don't know why any girl would want any guy just because of the way he looks ether. Btw it can take YEARS to build up legitimate strength and muscle or whatever. The only reason I am any bit of a physically strong guy is because I am a active runner that was well trained throughout high school AND I love manual labor. SO if girls like strong guys, they best know that strength is not always natural (And when Natural I DO NOT mean the beer brand called Natural.) Some people just gain strength from loving to do hard physical work or heavy exercises.

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    11. I know this was a bit random but I thought I'd add in that strength does not always come natural in some guys... Guys like me we do heavy exercising and manual labor cause we love to do manual work and in my case, love to use as much strength as I can to also run. SO one thing books may well not say is it can take hours of exercising and/or manual labor ( Think like construction projects and house renovations or hands on classes that require a lot of digging , building, and working in the hot sun.) I don't even think it's a big deal that my body for biological reasons ain't the strongest and it has taken such a long time to be strong overall. I find my strength as a way to get work done and running done, not a way to attract girls. By the way, I've noticed not many girls seem to be into guys that put on work boots daily, spend hours on end dying in the hot summer sun, proving to be a man and not a play around and hate doing things that will hurt them and are hard to do.

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    12. Sorry about the relativeness, that's the result of my autism.

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    13. No, it's fine, Evan! Thank you for your thoughts and insight, it's always helpful to see things from other perspectives, and you provided a wise outlook.

      Oh, and also, if a girl isn't willing to stick with you through your struggles, she isn't worth it. And yes, you guys are WAY more than just bodies, and y'all deserve better than this nonsense in books, media, and everything else.

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    14. I have a damaged mind so not many girls want to take a ride on Ozzy's Train ( Music Reference. If you don't get the reference search up Crazy Train by Ozzy Ozzbourne.) At this point I ain't ashamed of the fact I'm me. She'd have to have strength and NOT feminist strength . I mean like strength to deal with someone who goes through things she can't understand, gets depressed for no reason at some times it seems, can get verbally violent at times when he's in a Aangry mode , and love every part of him . Including not just my body but my character Shes have to withstand the bad part that I don't show in public .

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    15. I like that song! But that's so sad, don't say or write that, Evan. If it is the Lord's plan, you'll meet the right person who will love you and support you, don't think that you're not good enough, because that isn't true, that is Satan lying to you. I don't know you, but you seem to have a great character, and we all have our downfalls and struggles, and that's what makes us real. We are all broken, and no one is too broken. I'm sure you'll meet someone one day! But in the meantime, remember that God is with you, and we're all in this together.

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    16. Evan - I have a mental illness too. And it's the freaking hardest goddamn thing in the world. I struggle daily with anxiety and depression. You're doing INCREDIBLY just by living through all of your bad days and rocky times. You've survived 100% of them. And God is always there for you. He will always be there as a well of comfort. I wish you all the best, and feel free to talk to me anytime.

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    17. Hey Anaynamus! If you want to chat with me my blog is timeislove200.blogspot.com check it out t has my contact info on it also

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  2. I'm so proud you did this post-- it really does stink because yes, people do notice others and their physical features, but the way its depicted in novels compared to its actual counterpart just makes it seem like the situation is one steroids. WE ARE PEOPLE NOT FOOD. NOTHING REALLY TO DROOL OVER.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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  3. Great post, Gray!

    I do have problems with guys being shirtless because to me it's immodest and I'm tempted like crazy to oogle. There is so much similarity to the objectification of both sexes.

    The problem is that culture has been giving the reward to the wimpy, stupid guy and leaving true masculinity to be scorned. It's similar to the now-stereotype that beauty somehow replaces goodness and smarts in a woman. Just look at the hundreds of commercials that show dads acting like giant-sized kids. It's funny once as occasional satire, not repeatedly in culture.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmusr.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you.
      And I do get that, it's just not something I personally struggle with.

      And yes, that is so true and so sad. And it's awful for our men who try their best to be strong and noble and then no one honors them, instead the weaklings are put up on a pedestal.

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  4. Brillant post! I laughed at all the stories. :') Honestly, I'm on the same page as you. Australian summers get quite hot and whenever any guy takes his shirt off, the rest of us are just not impressed. It doesn't really cause a stir, unlike in YA. The male objectification is actually everywhere in YA, now that you mention it!

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  5. I hate to ruin this magical moment...but I don't really care if a guy has his shirt off. I mean, they CAN do it, but we can't.
    I mean abs are kind of attractive, but we shouldn't meditate on it, or just thinks "abs,abs,abs,abs,abs" whenever we see them. I mean...really.
    I laughed at your stories. Lol Of course, us girls can be all... "BOYS!!!! Oh, that one's got muscles *points", but we shouldn't focus on it.
    I don't know why YA gets so dirty. I mean, you can mention he's got muscles, but don't go raving over it...we're humans, not gods. It drives me nuts. We get it, maybe he's pretty cute, but that doesn't mean he's a good person. Looks can be deceiving.
    I feel like I'm not making sense....
    To sum it all up, a boy's got to do what a boy's gotta do, but let's not meditate on his muscles. He's a human, so treat him like one. Plus...I hate to break it to some people, but sometimes flirting can be annoying. Stop the giggles. He got an F in school...don't go all googly eyed and giggles. Lol
    Sorry guys, I feel like my brain's...gone. *sigh*

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    1. LOL! Preach, LHE!!! That is so true.
      I can't flirt, so I don't even bother. I tried to when I was twelve and I told this guy that he had a nice face... lol. After that I just stopped bothering to flirt or notice guys, because it felt stupid.
      So I'm with you there!!

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    2. Yeah! lol
      Lol, my flirting isn't all fluttery eyes and all that crap. Lol
      Omigosh!!! You did that?! I'd be like... "Ummmmmmmmm...h..hi!" Then I'd faint.
      You're were a brave girl. xD

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    3. Haha, not really...I turned tail and ran after I said that, sooo, yeah... XD
      And UGH! I can't stand people who flutter their eyelashes while flirting, it looks like they got sawdust in them or something!

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    4. LOL! He probably was laughing for days. You were still brave though. xD
      I know, it gets annoying. I mean, leave the guy alone!

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    5. I bet! XD
      It does get annoying, and the poor guy. He always looks like he wants to get out of there.

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    6. xD
      Poor, poor guy! Lol
      LOL, the embarrassment I'd have....well, hey, at least you can say you've accomplished something most people wouldn't do....*giggle*
      God bless, and Happy Fourth of July!!! <3

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  6. This is such a brilliant post, and this needs to be said! No one should be objectified, whatever their gender may be.

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    1. Thank you. And yes, no one should be objectified.

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  7. Preach it, girl. Just because women want their 'rights' doesn't mean they should crush men in the process.

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  8. I have older brothers. And while they don't live at home anymore, they used to do yard work all the time and we had a pool at our last house, so I don't have a problem not "oogling" people.

    This is such an annoying trend in books and honestly morals aside, it's just lazy writing and feels cheap.

    Great post!

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    1. Yes, that is so true, it is very cheap.
      Thank you!

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  9. I've considered the whole shirt thing lately. I'm rarely shirtless outside of my home. I'm very pale, so it often makes sense to keep my shirt on, but usually the only time I'd care to is when I'm swimming or when on rare occasion I've played soccer or frisbee "shirts and skins." I'd be happy to wear a shirt at all times if it made anyone uncomfortable, but so far I haven't heard much. When I am wearing a shirt, I try not to wear anything tight.

    I can't say that I've read much of what you're describing, but I've seen it some on television. I agree that it can push past similar commentary of women. I think there's still more "high-level" objectification of women, but I don't like any of it. It does get tough to parse through though, so I try to just ignore it all. I've trained myself well enough that short shorts on girls don't really tempt me much, but I think it's probably better for girls not to wear them, just fundamentally, for example.

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    1. Yeah, tight shirts and muscle shirts can be annoying.

      If you want to read a popular book series that shows exactly what I mean, just read any romance YA series or Twilight.
      And yes, women are still being objectified, but men are too and no one seems to be addressing that issue as much. And yes, I agree with you on the shorts.

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  10. AMEN Gray! This was a much needed post and it is really ridiculous how guys are objectified. It's in fact really stupid how any human being gets objectified. Great post and great subject! I love your style of writing, get on that soapbox girl!

    Anna - www.worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! It is really stupid and tragic.

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  11. Another great and truthful post Gray! :) It annoys me that we even need to have these kinds of conversations, as objectification should never have even started in the first place. We're all people! We're all more than our bodies or purely physical beings; why can't we all understand and value that? *sigh* Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts again! <3

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! That is exactly my point, and the fact that we have come to this is saddening. :/

      You're welcome!! ^_^

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  12. I feel the same way. It's a both ways thing, objectification, and it needs to stop in both camps. Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Yes, it does. You're welcome, thanks for reading and commenting.

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  13. Okay, that cartoon image is beautiful! How did you do that? It is so beautiful. It really looks like you. :)

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    1. Thanks! I just found it on Pinterest, cartoon drawings are better than the actual picture in my mind! :)

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    2. I don't have Pinterest, but I'm on the hunt for something. I like the idea. I've always loved images like that. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    3. You should look into getting it, it's extremely helpful. Especially when it comes to MCs.
      I hope you find what you're looking for!

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    4. Maybe I will look into it. Thanks!
      :D

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  14. This drives me crazy! Why don't they care about personality instead of looks!? And, yeah, it really is not cool.

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    1. Yes. I do notice cute guys sometimes, but personality is way mor important to most people than looks.

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  15. Wow - this is sooo good!! I absolutely love when I see other young girls coming to such good thoughts about something that is tearing all young people and even our nation apart. I mean - c'mon. People, we are more than our bodies. So why don't we treat others like they are more, too??

    This post reminds me of one I wrote a while back :)

    http://keturahskorner.blogspot.com/2015/11/objectifying-boys-and-men.html

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Hi, wonderful human bean.
I am so happy that you took time out of your day to share your thoughts with me! :)
But please,
• Be kind • Be respectful • No swearing •
I will do my best to reply!

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